Asphalt Shingles Repairs
Repairing or replacing the most common type of roofing-asphalt or asphalt fiberglass shingles is relatively easy. A professional roofer can work safely to ensure that you get the highest quality repair job.
You can repair your roof yourself, but the repair may stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if you don’t have an exact replacement product for your type of roofing. There’s also the potential to do more damage to your roof if the repair is not done correctly. For those reasons, we don’t recommend you do the repair job yourself, but rather call a professional like Cambie Roofing to do the job for you.
Types of Shingle
Organic is the current word used to describe traditional asphalt shingles, which differentiates them from the up-and-coming alternative called fiberglass shingles. The two types of shingles look the same on your roof: coloured granules held together by hardened tar. Both types are flexible and both are applied in the same way. The difference has to do with what the tar is bonded to.
Organic shingles are built on a substrate of heavy felt, while fiberglass shingles have a foundation of non-woven glass fibers. This difference doesn’t sound like much, but it actually leads to substantially different performance, especially in particular situations.
The main advantage of fiberglass shingles is their resistance to heat and durability. They’re much less likely to curl up than organic shingles, even when used on hot, unventilated roof structures. This means they will last longer, especially when you use higher-end products. Fiberglass shingles can carry up to a 50-year warranty. They are also less susceptible to catching fire or melting from the heat of a fire below.
What To Look For In Asphalt Shingles
These are some of the common things to look for to see if your Asphalt shingles need to be replaced:
Curling or crawling shingles are signs of both an aging roof system and excessive heat. In Vancouver, we don’t have to necessarily worry about heat, so if a shingle curls, it means that it is worn and at the end of its life span. Curled shingles are highly susceptible to water damage, wind uplift, and ice damage. These shingles will become rigid and can break easily and lose edges.
Broken or missing shingles greatly weaken a roof’s ability to shed water and can be an entry point for leakage. Buckling shingles are visible waved distortions that can run vertically or horizontally across the roof. Overall, roof age and wet or poor installation are common causes of buckled shingles.
When your roof has multiple leaks or a lot of damaged shingles, it usually means it’s time to replace the roofing entirely. Although a greater expense up front, it can be more cost effective than repairing the shingles all the time. When you put on a new roof, make sure to store a few extra shingles in your garage or somewhere safe so you’ll have matching replacements for repairs.
The Loss of Protective Granules
Aging roofs or physical damage can cause bare spots and a loss of granules. When the protective granules of a shingle are lost, the shingles begin to harden from heat and sun exposure. Granule loss on a roof will accelerate aging and shingle decaying.
Roofing problems make themselves known in the form of leaks and drips. You should repair a leaky roof before ceiling and walls are damaged. We recommend you get your roof checked by an expert at least twice a year in Fall and Summer.
Finding The Leak
The source of most leaky roofs is hard to find because it ordinates away from where the leak shows up. To find the source of the leak follow the slop of the roof. You will need to “think like water.” This may seem like strange advice but will actually help you find the area you need to repair. Water typically comes through worn, or missing shingles, or where nails are loose. Other entry points for water are at poorly sealed roof flashing around vents, skylights, or chimneys.
The water from a leak often travels down the rafters and shows up down-roof from where it begins. Once water passes the roof, it flows along the rafters or topside of the ceiling until it finds a place to drip down. Look for roof leaks during the day because they will be much easier to find. Scrambling around in the dark is usually a futile endeavor.
Go into the attic with a bright flashlight. Remember to step only on secure framing beams and never on the insulation or top side of the ceiling below. They will not hold your weight. Start above the place where the drip has occurred and work your way up the roof, looking for wetness along the beams.
If the weather has been dry for a while, look for a watermark stain or discolouration on the wood made by moisture. Then switch off the light and try to find a hole where the light shows through the roof. With a wooden shingle roof, you’ll see many such places but while the overlapped shingles let light show through they shed water. If it’s raining put a bucket under the leak in an area with proper support.
You should know how long your roof warranty is good for and if your repair still falls within that warranty period. When you replace your roof, ask the roofing company about the warranty.
Some warranties cover only the cost of materials, while others will cover both the materials and labour. The most common reason for a warranty claim is incorrectly laid shingles and poor attic ventilation, not because of faulty material. Heavier shingles are generally more durable and will come with a longer warranty, while lighter shingles wear out faster.
If you need to replace your asphalt roof or get it repaired, it’s best to trust a professional who knows what they’re doing. Call Cambie Roofing today and we will come out to assess your roofing needs.
Originally published on May 7, 2017.
Updated and republished on Feb. 14, 2023.